By JOSE MARTINEZ
Photos Courtesy of LA PHILHARMONIC
Summer concerts under the stars at the famed Hollywood Bowl are practically a rite of passage for LA music lovers. The setting is stellar and simply can’t be beat. Shows run the gamut for all tastes, making sure everyone, locals and visitors alike, can spend a lovely night out making memories that will not soon be forgotten.
This summer, LA Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl leased shows include all sorts of heavy hitters, from comedian now musician Steve Martin for three nights during Fourth of July, to Joshua Bell and friends, and the pairing of Chris Botti and Chris Isaak. Let’s hope the building is left standing after Mötley Crüe and Alice Cooper perform Monday, July 21, marking the last Mötley Crüe concert ever—for now anyways.
Since 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has been a landmark for live music. A seminal show at the Bowl of course includes The Beatles, and this summer (August 22-24) will mark the 50th anniversary of their legendary concert. Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame will serve as ringmaster and musical director, joined by special guests. This show is destined to be a fab night!
Another spectacle not to be missed is the upcoming production of Hair, an American rock musical that will star Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) as Sheila, Weed’s Hunter Parrish, Glee’s Amber Riley and Beverly D’Angelo as Mom (she actually played Sheila in the 1979 film). Hair plays August 1-3.
“I’m over the moon about the cast we [assembled],” says director Adam Shankman. “The talent that I witnessed throughout the auditioning and overall casting process has been both mind blowing and deeply humbling. I’m in love with all of them. I can’t wait to get in there with everyone and rock the Bowl this summer, in ways that have never been done there before.”
From its stunning Broadway premiere in 1968, Hair defined the “rock musical,” exuberantly celebrating the hippie counterculture, anti-war movement and sexual revolution of the 1960s with a rainbow score of hits – including “Aquarius,” “Good Morning Starshine,” and “Easy to be Hard” – that have become ingrained in pop culture. Audiences will celebrate this groundbreaking American journey as they “Let the Sunshine In.”
This summer, the Hollywood Bowl is hosting a series of impressive shows called Americas & Americans. These concerts build on a great tradition where the LA Philharmonic spotlights music from across North and South America and explores the eclectic musical traditions born from our unique blending of cultures, religions and landscapes. A must-see show this month, as part of the Americas & Americans series, includes international superstar Gloria Estefan (July 25 and 26 with fireworks!). Estefan will perform songs from her Grammy-nominated CD, The Standards, which features classic tunes from the Great American Songbook. Fans will also be treated to Estefan’s iconic hits, as you’ve never heard them before. Another exciting Americas & Americans concert I’m looking forward to features Panama’s favorite son Rubén Blades, along with conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil.
Other spectacular July shows include Grease Sing-A-Long (July 13); Boz Scaggs (August 16); and Reggae Night XIII with Jimmy Cliff (July 20). Cool August shows not to miss feature Herbie Hancock; Gladys Knight and Kool & the Gang (August 8-9); The Four Seasons (August 19); Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On with John Legend (August 20); Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden (August 25); and Frampton’s Guitar Circus (August 27).
The beautiful setting, the stellar sound, and the impressive history of the venue make nights and the Hollywood Bowl just one more thing that makes us happy and thankful we live in the City of Angels. It doesn’t get any better than a night at The Bowl!
The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 N. Highland Avenue.
Photo 1: Gloria Estefan performs at the Hollywood Bowl on July 26, Photo 2: Amber Riley (Photo: Phoenix) to star in Hair on August 1-3, Photo 3: Kristen Bell (Photo: Jeff Lipsky) also to star in Hair, Photo 4: The Hollywood Bowl (Photo: Paige Petrone)